Locked for months in a bitter divorce, Tricia Walsh-Smith says she just wanted to avoid being evicted when she launched her six-minute attack video on YouTube. “I knew I had to be sensational and funny,” she tells PEOPLE in her hotel room in the Trump International in New York City, “and like, wow.” Wow indeed. Posted April 10, the clip has gotten about 3 million hits, has been replayed countless times on TV and has made her equal parts instant Internet celebrity and villain. In the video she discloses the couple “never had sex” and goes on to point out that she’d uncovered her husband’s stash of “Viagra, porn movies and condoms.”
Even in the slash-and-burn world of divorce, the clip is a new low, experts say. “This video is the next step in turning our divorce courts into the Jerry Springer show,” says prominent divorce attorney Sue Moss. Meanwhile, Walsh-Smith’s husband, New York theater executive Philip Smith, has stayed mum. “Obviously he’s hurt by what she’s done,” says his lawyer David Aronson. “But he’s a private person with no desire to debate in a public forum about what are obviously private matters.” That said, Aronson warns, “We are not ruling out any possible legal action.”
Although their relationship may have been tepid in terms of passion, “I loved him,” says Walsh-Smith. “I haven’t had an affair. The only bad thing I ever did was keep him on a strict diet.” The pair met at the 1995 wedding of a friend. Walsh-Smith, an actress and playwright, 52, had been married twice. Philip, now 76, had been widowed for a year. The two married in 1999 with Walsh-Smith signing a prenuptial agreement. Last year the marriage started to sour when Walsh-Smith tried to renegotiate the prenup. Her husband balked, started divorce proceedings against her, and in March, she says, he began trying to evict her from their nine-room Park Avenue apartment.
Undaunted by the thousands of mostly scathing comments on You Tube, Walsh-Smith says she is planning to shoot a second video. “He might have power and money,” she says, “but I have imagination.”